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The History of the Telephone Through Photography

Updated on August 26, 2013
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

The history of the telephone is diverse and it seems that several inventors were involved in its design and creation in various ways which ultimately led to the first working models available for the general public.

"Credit for the invention of the electric telephone is frequently disputed, and new controversies over the issue have arisen from time-to-time. Charles Bourseul, Antonio Meucci, Johann Philipp Reis, Alexander Graham Bell, and Elisha Gray, amongst others, have all been credited with the telephone's invention. The early history of the telephone became and still remains a confusing morass of claims and counterclaims, which were not clarified by the huge mass of lawsuits to resolve the patent claims of many individuals and commercial competitors. The Bell and Edison patents, however, were commercially decisive, because they dominated telephone technology and were upheld by court decisions in the United States." Wikipedia

Through photography you can show people how the telephone something that we often take for granted, has changed and evolved through time.

Getting sample to photograph should not be hard. There are museums that have several samples, there are antique stores that also feature various types and styles and photographing the more modern styles can be found most anywhere. For this project you should concentrate on one specific type, like payphones or for the home for example.

Start the project with a clear idea of how you will showcase your finished project. A good presentation style would be to gather images and arrange them much like a thumbnail would look like, although the images need to be large enough for viewers to be able to appreciate the many parts and details present with each different type or style.

Look for subjects that seem to be different from its counterparts; more ornate, better colors, richer construction and other things that makes them interesting and pleasing images that a viewer may want to look at.

Choose your backgrounds carefully. Since these machines have several elements, the best backdrops will be those that are plain. The color of the backdrops is not that important but it does help if they also have a nice color palette.

Try to combine a light backdrop with a light colored telephone or a dark backdrop with a light colored telephone. Rich colors such as reds and blues are always suitable.

If you can include other small telephone industry related props then do so as they also add interesting details to the final photograph. Just make sure not to overwhelm the main subject.


© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Bakelight! Black bakelight telephones! I was trying to think of that word earlier, and I just could not remember the name of that material. It was pre-plastic and weighed a ton!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      justmesuzanne: Thank you

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Well where's the gigantic indestructible vintage black rotary phone? That's what I grew up with, and amazingly to me, I can remember when some folks (including Andy Taylor of Mayberry) had a wooden wall phone like the one pictured! Fun hub! Voted up and interesting.